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*rsity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • College of Agriculture • Cooperative Extension Servic,
• 1 A typical clump of wild garlic. (Photo
courtesy of E. J. Peters, ARS, USDA.) ml The
leaves of wild onion are flat and solid; those
of wild garlic are round and hollow. (Photo
courtesy of E. J. Peters, ARS, USDA.) *3 In
addition to the central bulb or main stem (B),
wild garlic produces hard-shell bulbs (A),
soft-shell bulbs (C), and aerial bulblets (D).
•4 Some hard-shell bulbs (left) remain dor-
mant in the soil for 5 or 6 years. Most of the
soft bulbs (right) grow within a year of two.
• Plant wheat in garlic-free fields.
• Plow and begin cultivation of row crops early to prevent
formation of new aerial bulblets.
• Obtain a vigorous stand of wheat with adequate seeding and
• Use herbicides in the fall to control wild garlic in pastures
and noncrop areas.
• Apply herbicides to wheat in the spring.
• Adjust the combine to remove as much wild garlic as possible.
• Dry wheat and clean again.
• 5 Aerial bulblets of wild garlic are
about the same size as wheat. They
are the main reason for discounts.
• 6 Wild garlic produces aerial bulb-
lets in clusters. These mature at
about the same time as wheat and
are normally about the same height Figure 7
as the wheat heads. A single cluster
may have as many as 300 bulblets.
Bulblets fall to the soil and produce new plants. They are the major means by which wild
garlic spreads; therefore, their control is very important. Some "heads" produce flowers and
seeds in addition to the aerial bulblets (left). *7 Wild garlic "heads" vary in size and shape.
The "head" in the center is typical. The "head" on the left is double. The one on the right is
smaller, but the individual bulblets are larger.
•8 Do not spray small grain before the
plants have tillered (left); spray after the
plants are well tillered and about 4 to 8
inches high (center). Do not spray after
small-grain stems are jointing or produc-
ing nodes (right). 99 As small grain ap-
proaches the boot stage, risk of injury
from 2,4-D applications and subsequent
loss in yield increase.
YIELD AS PERCENT
OF UNTREATED CHECK
JOINTING BOOT MILK SOFT
Don't panic. Don't get mad at your elevator operator. He will
gladly buy your wheat, but he doesn't want your wild garlic.
Neither do millers, nor foreign buyers. To avoid garlic discounts,
sell clean wheat.
The easiest way to produce a clean crop is to control wild garlic
in the field. Cleaning garlic from wheat requires more time and
effort, but can be profitable if garlic discounts are high.
Controlling Wild Garlic
To avoid a problem with wild garlic, try to plant wheat only on
land that is relatively garlic-free. Where wild garlic is abundant,
raising clean-tilled crops such as corn and soybeans for several
years can reduce the wild garlic problem by preventing the forma-
tion of new aerial bulblets. Plowing helps to control garlic;
however, plowing in July and August, when wild garlic is
dormant, does little good. Begin cultivation of row crops early.
Obtaining a vigorous stand of wheat that is able to compete
with wild garlic is important. You can encourage a vigorous stand
with an adequate seeding rate and sufficient fertilizer.
Research indicates that applications of 2,4-D can help control
wild garlic in grass pastures (no legumes), fencerows, and other
noncrop areas. Applications should be made in November, when
most of the garlic plants have emerged. One to two quarts of
2,4-D ester per acre (4 pounds acid equivalent per gallon) is
suggested. Apply only in accordance with current label recom-
mendations and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
In the spring, 2,4-D can be applied to wheat when the plants
are 4 to 8 inches high, after they have tillered, and before they
"joint" or form nodes on the stem. One to 1 V2 pints of 2,4-D ester
per acre (4 pounds acid equivalent per gallon) can reduce the
formation of aerial bulblets and distort the wild garlic plants so
that many of the bulblets will be missed in combining, if the com-
bine is adjusted high enough and the wheat is not lodged.
Check current label directions for application rates and EPA
registration. There is some risk of injury to wheat as the appli-
cation rate increases. However, if 2,4-D is applied at approved
rates at the proper time, the risk of injury is usually less than the
risk from a severe wild garlic infestation.
Banvel (dicamba) alone, or in combination with 2,4-D, is
usually at least as effective as 2,4-D alone. Refer to current labels
for rates, timing, and crops to which Banvel can be applied.
Refer to herbicide labels for information on aerial application.
If you have wild garlic in wheat, check a sample yourself or
take one to your elevator operator for an estimate of the number
of wild garlic bulblets, before you begin to haul loads of wheat to
Discounts are based on the number of wild garlic bulblets in a
1,000-gram sample (about 1 quart). If you are not willing to
accept the discounts indicated, you can either use the wheat for
feed or clean it.
Research suggests that garlicky wheat can be used in feed in
limited amounts for most kinds of livestock and poultry with little
or no ill effect on the animal or animal products.
Although some wild garlic bulblets are about the same size as
wheat, many that are smaller or larger can be removed by clean-
ing. Try to clean wheat before storing. There can be some advan-
tage to on-farm storage since it permits more flexibility in
The cleaning process begins with combining. Carefully adjust
the combine to remove as many of the garlic bulblets as possible.
Use a dryer or store wheat for 6 to 8 months to allow re-
maining garlic bulblets to dry and shrink. Drying changes the
size and density of the bublets so that more can be removed
when the grain is cleaned a second time.
A second cleaning can be done with a fanning mill or other
suitable equipment. Use two screens — one larger and one
smaller than the wheat. Apply enough air to blow out material
lighter than the wheat. If cleaning equipment isn't available,
consider running the wheat through the combine a second time,
after the grain is dry.
This circular was prepared by E. L. KNAKE, Professor of Weed Science, and
M. D. McGLAMERY, Associate Professor of Weed Science.
Urbana, Illinois February, 1975
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914,
in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. JOHN B. CLAAR, Director, Co-
operative Extension Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Illinois Cooperative Extension Service provides equal opportunities in programs
and employment. 12M _ 275 _ 30443